Information Literacy: a US perspective by Sunette Steynberg Overview • Definitions • Pedagogy of Information literacy • Diverse learning styles • Collaborative activities • Experiential learning activities • Suggestions for the UPLS • Discussion People call Information literacy by a variety of names: • Engineers prefer continuous and persistent learning • Business: competitive intelligence • Lifelong learning and critical thinking • According to the ACRL information literacy standards Pedagogy is the study of being a teacher or the process of teaching. The term generally refers to strategies of instruction, or a style of instruction. • It has to be suitable to the type of instruction (e.g. is it a one-shot or dedicated course?) • It has to build on student’s existing knowledge and course assignments. • It contextualizes information literacy within ongoing coursework and must be appropriate to the academic program and course level. • It incorporates relevant information technology and other media resources, such as films or videos, audio programs, or any other type of media that can facilitate instruction. • It takes into account diverse learning styles. • It advances learning through collaborative and experiential learning activities. • It promotes critical thinking and reflection. The Diverging style People with this learning style are best at viewing concrete situations from many different points of view. They prefer working in groups to gather information, listening with an open mind and receiving personalized feedback. The Assimilating style People with this learning style is best at understanding a wide range of information and putting it into concise, logical form. These people prefer lectures, readings, exploring analytical models and having time to think things through on their own. The Converging style People with this learning style are best at finding practical uses for ideas and theories. They prefer experimenting with new ideas, simulations, laboratory assignments and practical applications. The Accommodating style People with this learning style have the ability to learn primarily from ‘hands-on’ experience. They prefer to work with others to get assignments done, to set goals, to do field work and to test out different approaches to completing a project. Collaborative activities • With the human boolean students who wear glasses can be asked to raise their hands. Then students who wear glasses AND are female must raise their hands. This illustrates that results become fewer, but more specific when connected with an and. The operators OR, and NOT can be illustrated in the same manner. • Ask students to study a reference that you provided, and vote on whether it is a book or journal reference. This encourages them to pay attention and take part. • Cephalonian is the collaborative method where numbered questions are put on paper beforehand. These questions are given to some of the students as they enter the class. During the lecture you ask the person with question no. 1 to please read it. Then you answer it. In this way you get students to take part without feeling threatened or stupid. This might also encourage students to ask more questions. • By providing your cell phone number in class, cell phones can be used to sms questions to the lecturer which can be answered at the end of the class. Many students are to shy to ask questions in a big group. • Assessment: The one minute paper can be used effectively to find out what the students have learned that they did not know before and what would they have liked to know more about? Experiential learning • It is important that we do not only teach content (what), but also how to search. • Hands-on training. Give different assignments to different groups and have them share results with the whole group. With repetition learning takes place. QR codes can be used between book shelves to take students to a web site or video that explains how to find a book. Our teaching should allow for the development and application of critical thinking skills. Libraries are in the conversation business. To converse we need to understand the language. We need to teach students scholarly communication. My suggestions for the UPLS • Short ‘How do I’s’ on a training web site • Researcher savvy workshops • Teach Information literacy in 1 hour session • Use flat screens for training videos • Academic Information Management for UP 1st year students Start by finding already existing material on the internet and YouTube. Get permission and use these. Then create the rest as needed.
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